T'eyla Minh (teylaminh) wrote,
T'eyla Minh

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The Memory Returns...

yoshi and I saw Cats last night. My fifth time, his first. And somehow I'd completely managed to forget it was the 25th anniversary... Quite an accomplishment for a show the critics thought would die on its arse in 1981. :)

I doubt much of this will be coherent because I'm still dog tired for no apparent reason. I've had unbroken nights of sleep all this week but I'm still knackered, which is incredibly annoying. But anyway, here goes nothing.

The 'new generation' of costumes that emerged around about the time of the video release has remained, along with some new bits of orchestration (electric guitar!) and proper characterisation which sets it apart from the original eighties production, which was more about leg warmers and much less about plot... And there is a plot, which is much easier to define when seeing it live.

Jellicle Cats got me again. I don't know why. I can listen to it on the soundtrack and I'm absolutely fine, but there's something about it being live. Bursting into tears at the start of Phantom I can understand, but the Jellicle Cats thing is still a mystery. The last verse of Memory was also fantastically performed and my eyes were prickling. I think these days it has a lot to do with finding out that it was originally meant to be in Sunset Boulevard until they ran into rights problems, and that Grizabella is so very Norma Desmond. It's a very tragically hopeful song.

I've probably waxed lyrical about Cats far too much over the years (and God knows my LJ has been a haven of related angst) so there follows a list of my memorable bits from last night...

In the interval, some security men came to remove an oversized tennis racquet that had previously been attached to the front of the stage, because it had fallen on a woman in the front row. She seemed intact, at least, and will probably get a free seat out of it...

During Growltiger's Last Stand, two things: they've brought back "The Ballad of Billy McCaw" after a brief stint with a horrible alternative, and at the beginning of the song the actor playing Gus/Growltiger leant over the front of the stage and drooled everywhere with a look of sadistic glee. It was horrible, but funny.

Mr Mistofeles - always a crowd pleaser, and I always forget how catchy the song is...

Skimbleshanks - I finally figured out what they make the body of the train with. It's a big, red lampshade, one of those fabric cylinder ones...

Rum Tum Tugger, stealing the show constantly. I think he even mounted someone in the audience...

Grizabella during the Jellicle Ball sequence, standing up in one of the boxes and trying to copy the dancing... I didn't know who to watch.

Old Deuteronomy did stay on stage for the entire interval, or at least appeared to - they brought the fire curtain down for 10 minutes of it. Most theatres I've been to will bring the curtain down for a while but then take it up again shortly afterwards so they're not breaking the law, but not spoiling the atmosphere. So, I suspect that the actor popped to the loo whilst he had the chance... And nobody was brave enough to go up on stage. Clearly the Mancunians are more cheeky...

And finally, a woman a row behind us after Macavity fuses the lights in the junkyard: "Was that meant to happen?" Duh...

Also, there was a couple slightly in front of us who disappeared after the first half. I never understand people who do that. If you've paid good money for a theatre ticket, at least stay for the entire thing, even if you don't like it. Apart from the fact that you're obviously so rich that £30 is a drop in the ocean, it's just bad manners...

Every time I see it live, I understand the fanfiction phenomenon more. There is actually a category on FFN these days for Cats because the writers were taking over the entire Musicals/Plays section (which, incidentally? Needs to be a category, not just a sub-category. It's giving the musicals fans a very bad representation...) After last night I want to do a long, epic fic that is basically the entire musical without songs, in order to make the plot actually more plot like. I was struck with a whole lot of random lines and sentences when watching. I don't know if I'd ever manage to pull it off (there are two big dramatic moments, really), but all the different character links are fascinating. Plus, I had this wonderful little vision of Grizabella, reborn as a newborn kitten within the tribe, because that's what the Heaviside Layer is all about. Which would leave it nicely open for all the other fanfic writers to carry on in their alternaverses. Another one for the 'maybe' pile.

The shipperfic is still terrifying, though. There's probably far too much inbreeding for it to ever be plausible... (and if I see one more Mungo/Rumpleteazer shipperfic I'm going to start hurting people. THEY'RE SIBLINGS, DAMMIT!)

*ahem* That's that, then.

Oh, PS: Paul found a poster and screenshot from the upcoming Tim Burton version of the musical of Sweeney Todd and it looks frelling amazing. I think Burton's lucious, detail-rich approach is going to put a completely different spin to it than the minimalist UK tour did, and I can't wait. It's due out in January 2008. Depp is practically unrecognisable in the poster and it's so gloriously and gothically Victorian and wonderful and Burtonesque and more than that it's TIM BURTON DOING VICTORIAN LONDON I THINK I'M GOING TO DIE FROM THE ABSOLUTE SQUEE.

Okay, I'm done.
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